Professor Ying Cheong

变 (bian) 化 (hua) – is Mandarin for transformation or change.

In recent years, Reproductive Medicine has undergone transformational change involving not only the business landscape but, the rapid introduction of innovative technology. Indeed, time-lapse embryo culture is now standard practice in our Centre, notwithstanding the periodic flux and turnover of leadership and staff. Hence, in my clinical life (and I suspect, yours as well), change is constant.

Enterprise is an area synonymous with change. There is a tendency in human nature to resist change as, in the face of change, there can be a sense of loss of control, uncertainty, surprise, inability to cope and concerns about our position in the future landscape. We are creatures of habit and the pace of change can sometimes feel exhausting. The irony is that we experience change all the time; after all, this is how we evolved over millennia. We grow, age, accumulate experience and assimilate wisdom, hate, love, cry, laugh… As humans, unconsciously, we are actually very good at adapting to change!

In today’s world of enterprise, change has never been more critical. The enterprise mind must acclimatise to constant change. Whether you are considering starting an enterprising project, endeavouring to get your start-up on its feet or in the middle of fundraising for your spin-out, negotiating your way through the enterprise and knowledge exchange pathway looking for the next development, an enterprising person cannot help but embrace change. Below are five aspects to embracing change I think are key and have attached references I found useful for those who are interested in finding out more:

1) The world of technology is evolving rapidly – do you know about the current changes and are you sufficiently connected? (Johnson G 2020)

2) The consumer market constantly changes – Are your tech still in date? Be mindful that an inventor would always be biased towards their own invention! Do you have access and are you open to critique from others? (Cuddy A, et al 2013)

3) The world is a ‘noisy’ place. So, can you cut through the noise and identify where the growth opportunities are? How can you harness these opportunities and what might be getting in your way of doing so? Learn new business skills, be prepared to break the mould of traditional practice, and negotiate and communicate outside your usual circle even though this might be difficult for some, especially if you are a quiet person. (Kahneman 2021, Cain 2012).

4) Have you asked enough ‘whys’ to challenge the status quo? (Sinek 2011)

5) How do you find happiness in what you do? (Christensen 2012).

For those who are interested in building their business, we now have enterprise sessions including Bitesize Business webinar sessions for those who are interested. Please sign up to the mailing list at Chris.Hobbs@sa.catapult.org.uk and you can access the Enterprise Club Area for past seminars on Drug Discovery, some relevant presentations on IP & Enterprise.

For more information please also see https://www.southampton.ac.uk/medicine/business_partnership/index.page

For now… Ying signing out.

References:

Gregg Johnson. “Is your marketing strategy based on the right data?” Harvard Business Review, Analytics (May 14, 2020). https://hbr.org/2013/07/connect-then-lead

Cuddy, Amy J.C., Matthew Kohut, and John Neffinger. “Connect, Then Lead.” Harvard Business Review 91, nos. 7/8 (July–August 2013): 54–61. https://hbr.org/2020/05/is-your-marketing-strategy-based-on-the-right-data

Kahneman, D., Sibony, O., & Sunstein, C. R. (2021). Noise: a flaw in human judgment. First edition. New York: Little, Brown Spark.

Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. Crown Publishers/Random House.

Christensen, Clayton M. 2012. How Will You Measure Your Life? London, England: HarperCollins.

Sinek, S. (2011). Start with why. Penguin Books.

The changing face of Enterprise by Professor Ying Cheong

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